Having his breakfast on a Monday morning, a man looked outside at a woman at the bus stop, pacing the footpath as if she was running late.

There was a look in her eyes that made him distinctly remember her. She was alone and looked "desperate'', he said.

"She kept looking up and down [the street].''

As she paced the footpath, on Westgate Drive in Massey, West Auckland, he got the impression she was running late or had missed her bus.

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It was just after 8am and he guessed she was probably waiting for a bus due to stop there about 8.20am.

He vaguely remembered her wearing a coat and pants.

At the scene today, bunches of flowers have been laid near the spot where the woman died.

People from all parts of the community - young and old and from different backgrounds - stop to pay their respects.

Some stay for a while, standing quietly, while others on their morning walk pause before moving on again.

The witness told the Herald he did not hear the shouting or screams that pierced the air only a few minutes later, as he was not wearing his hearing aid.

It was only when family members from another part of the house walked in and saw what was happening outside. The man immediately ran out to help.

As he and other members of the public worked to help her, he suddenly had a flashback to just a few minutes before, he said, when he had seen her at the bus stop.

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SCREAMS BEFORE CRASH:

Another resident said she heard shouting coming from the road and opened the curtains.

She saw a woman stop her car and run towards the other side of the road and at least one other person also rush over to the spot.

"I thought it was a fight,'' she said.

In contrast, she saw a man - thought to be the attacker - walking away from the commotion, she said.

"I saw him walk up the hill very calmly.''

Police cordon on Westgate Drive Massey after a woman was stabbed to death New Zealand Herald photograph by Dean Purcell 29 July 2019
Police cordon on Westgate Drive Massey after a woman was stabbed to death New Zealand Herald photograph by Dean Purcell 29 July 2019

Paul Jeong usually walks on that stretch of road every morning. But he was feeling tired and decided to stay in yesterday.

At around 8.30am, he heard a commotion outside and looked out to see two cars had crashed just in front of his house on the main road.

"There was a slim man with a cap on. He got out and he looked confused.''

Jeong said the man walked towards a grassy bush area and appeared to be relieving himself.

"But I think he was throwing something into the bush."

A police officer was later seen searching the area, Jeong said. Police were at the scene almost immediately and took the man into custody.

It is understood a member of the public stopped the man's vehicle after he fled the crime scene.

A 63-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Auckland High Court on August 14.

Police investigating the incident are appealing to anyone who was driving in the Westgate Drive and Royal Rd area yesterday morning - between about 7.45am and 8.45am - who may have dash-cam footage to come forward.

Can you help? Contact Police on 105 or anonymously on Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111.